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NEWS BRIEFS

Mečiar prosecution halted

Attorney General Milan Hanzel has confirmed that a criminal prosecution of former Prime Minister and current head of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) Vladimír Mečiar has been definitively halted.

Upholding an earlier court ruling from February this year, Hanzel said that charges of abuse of state authority in paying illegal bonuses to cabinet members between 1993 and 1998 had been dropped. He said that the decision to make the payments to ministers could not be classified as a criminal act.

Mečiar's payments are thought to have cost the state nearly Sk14 million ($291,000). Ministers in the current government were forced to return bonus payments in early 1999 when bonuses they received were ruled to be illegal.

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